Group of Spanish women sexually assaulted in Acapulco

Mexican city languishing under effects of an organized crime wave over recent years

Mexico City -

A group of female tourists, six Spanish and one Mexican, were attacked early Monday morning when heavily armed, masked men stormed into their Acapulco bungalow as the women were sleeping. The attack took place in a colony called Alfredo V. Bonfil, within Diamante de Acapulco (Guerrero state), western Mexico. The six young Spanish women were sexually assaulted, according to Guerrero’s chief prosecutor.

The women, accompanied by Acapulco tourism officials, presented a report yesterday morning to the Ministry of Public Agency for the Investigation of Sexual Offences.

Local newspaper El Sol de Acapulco informed last night that 15 men, six of whom were armed, stormed into the residence of 12 tourists, seven women and five men all under the age of 30. Two-and-a-half hours after the attack, the aggressors left the home and the victims subsequently informed the Acapulco municipal police about what had happened that morning. In addition to the sexual assaults, two tablets, credit cards, 7,800 pesos (equivalent of about 450 euros) and one MP4 were reported stolen. Since the attack, Acapulco has added additional surveillance of the area and made some arrests.

Long gone are the 1960s, when this city was a favorite vacation destination of Hollywood stars

Acapulco has been subjected to the violence of organized crime for many years. Long gone are the 1960s, when this same city was a favorite vacation destination of Hollywood stars. In the last five years, Acapulco’s beautiful beaches have become the playgrounds of Mexican drug gangs and cartels, including La Barredora drug gang, the cartel del Diablo, the independent cartel of Acapulco, the Michoacana family, and the New Generation Jalisco cartel, among others. The gang presence and this recent attack on Spanish tourists is a real blow to the aspirations of the authorities in Acapulco to regain its glory days as a popular tourist destination.

Acapulco’s tourism is the main source of income of the State of Guerrero, one of Mexico poorest, and for some time, one of the most violent in the country. On Saturday, two tourists from Mexico City were injured skipping a checkpoint established in Las Mesas community in the municipality of San Marcos, by armed neighbors who have taken the law into their own hands, establishing self-defense groups and people´s courts to combat organized crime violence.

This is the second such attack by self-defense committees against civilians. The promoter of the Union of Peoples and Organizations of the State of Guerrero (UPOEG), Bruno Plácido confirmed and justified the attack, stating the tourists "reckless" failure to stop at the roadblock. According to the report filed by the tourists, they saw armed, hooded men accelerating towards them as fellow group members shot. The first fatality of the self-defense committees in Guerrero occurred on January 22 when a man tried to flee to avoid being detained.

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